Stewed, roasted, cured, simmered, seared and braai’d were just some of the ways cuts of lamb, beef and pork were cooked to perfection at The Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival, presented by Crown National, which took place at Johannesburg’s Ticketpro Dome from 26 to 28 May.
“The event was spectacularly well supported by a really enthusiastic audience, all with varying knowledge about the meat industry, said Sian Cullingworth, Portfolio Director: Design, Lifestyle and Retail Exhibitions. “We are grateful to all the event sponsors and everyone who participated in making this such a success. It is a much-needed platform for South Africa’s vibrant meat industry and we look forward to preparing for next year’s event!”
Crown National Butcher’s Challenge at Fire and Feast Butcher’s Festival
There were a number of show highlights that kept audiences entertained throughout the weekend at the Fire and Feast Butcher’s Festival, including the exciting National Butchers’ Challenge presented by Crown National.
“The event attracted an incredibly talented group of participants which made for exciting viewing and challenging judging,” said Caroline McCann, a leading South African butcher and organiser of the challenge. “Visitors were overwhelmed by the calibre of food produced, particularly within such strict time constraints, and it was really great to see the immense culinary quality within the country.”
Vying for the top prize were 10 teams consisting of six dedicated members who worked furiously during the allocated three-hour time slot, preparing and presenting succulent cuts of beef, lamb and pork. Each dish was carefully assessed by a panel of judges which included representatives from the South African Chefs Association and South African Meat Industry Council.
After careful analysis of elements such as hygiene, knife skills, marketability of the cuts, presentation and the uniqueness of the product formulation, the winning team was announced as Team 6 Pack with representatives from Old Town uMhlanga, Spar, Makro and Checkers. Team 6 Pack consisted of Andre van der Merwe, Johan Pretorius, Pedro Gonsalves Sequeira, Sebastian Munyewende, Leo Roland Delaney and Werner Viljoen. They will form part of the squad training for ‘Team South Africa’ working towards representing the country at the World Butcher’s Challenge in Ireland next year.
Cooking demonstrations from Fire and Feast Butcher’s Festival
Visitors were treated to entertaining culinary demonstrations on Chad-O-Chefs superior gas braai range performed by seven leading South African chefs in the kitchen zone, all co-ordinated by renowned South African chef, Arnold Tanzer. Mouth-watering dishes and easy-to-follow recipes were the order of the day at The Pork 360 Kitchen where chefs, Richard Rust, Sizwe Cebekhulu and Kabelo Segone took the lead.
Not to be outdone, chefs Citrum Khumalo and Stefano Strafella, brought the heat into the The Lamb and Mutton SA Kitchen with lamb koftas, grilled livers, lamb kidneys, ribs, mutton loin and mutton rump options.
While in The Beef Zone, chefs, Raynor Damons and Sasha Zambetti, pulled out all the stops when demonstrating the best cooking techniques for beef kebabs, citrus flank steak, rump, bone marrow, pulled beef and the ox heart burger.
Breakfast and lunchtime ideas abounded in The Blue Ribbon Sandwich Square Theatre where chefs incorporated cuts of lamb, beef and pork from the other kitchen zones into some truly memorable on-the-go feasts.
Educational workshops from Fire and Feast Butcher’s Festival
In addition to cooking demonstrations, visitors took full advantage of the highly informative workshops held throughout the three-day festival. Here, industry experts showcased the latest products in the culinary world while offering useful insight into the meat industry for both traders and consumers. Some of the workshop topics included ‘Key pointers for choosing a quality meat product’; ‘What does a product label tell me about a butcher’s product?’ and ‘How to choose the best meat for my special celebration or BBQ?’.
Getting everyone started on the right note, The Breakfast Zone presented by Enterprise, proved a hugely popular attraction with eggs, bacon and sausages hitting the spot while food trucks throughout the festival venue ensured quality fare to suit every taste.
The festive Kids’ Zone kept the young crowd entertained while visitors enjoyed the uplifting vibe provided by live music talent, Gus Brown Band in the Castle Beer Garden.
Ales, lagers, pilsners and draughts at The Castle Tank proved a necessary thirst-quenching accompaniment to the meaty meals. Those seeking something more translucent found the right blend at The Gin Bar.
“Having established a strong platform for the festival we are really looking forward to building on this next year, bringing in exciting new features along,” said Cullingworth.
For more information visit www.fireandfeast.co.za
Images supplied by Fire and Feat Butcher’s Festival